Like the millions of Americans that have lost their jobs due to the COVID-19 crisis, I too, lost my job late last week. During these unprecedented times, the new normal seems to be constant feelings of anxiety, depression, and fear of the future. However, I decided to take my lay off with a grain of salt.
At first it wasn’t like that at all. My first thought when I was laid off was “Shit. How am I going to pay student loans?”. This wasn’t part of the plan. The fears of financial insecurity started to settle in and soon it felt like a dark, stormy cloud was hovering over me. What followed was even worse. It hadn’t occurred to me that I had chosen probably the worst career path at a time when an extremely contagious, widespread, pandemic was occurring. One that only works with person to person contact, where large gatherings equates success, and extensive onsite logistics is crucial for execution…. event planning.
Goodbye to events for the rest of the year said Faucci! No more drinking and hugging at sporting events. No more Coachella Burning Man FYRE Fails. No more weddings (I mean who really wants to get married via Zoom?). But most importantly, no more networking corporate conferences, which happens to be my line of work. My company soon took these events onto a virtual platform where the content team would be hosting the webinars. But I can’t help but think that us event planners are necessary… These virtual events aren’t the same amarite? There’s no free food or goodie bags?! This new kind of “invisible enemy” can’t completely replace us.
Eventually we’re going to need event planners again. These virtual events are simply just not the same. By nature, we crave social interaction. Real events are also more engaging, memorable, and overall productive. And let me tell you something — event planners are by far the hardest working, grittiest, tougher-than-nails people I’ve ever met. They don’t take shit from vendors when they mess up, rude customers, or unproductive coworkers. We answer emails, text messages, phone calls day and night, weekends and holidays or else risk our inbox filling to 1,000+ unread messages. We’re efficient, organized, and creative as hell. We’re on the spot problems solvers that find solutions when sometimes it seems as though nothing else will work. Some people may call us strict or even neurotic but I’d rather be that way because although these skills cannot be applied to our line of work right now — they can be applied almost anywhere else.
While this specific group of people is taking a hard hit, it’s important to mention that many others are suffering too. Restaurant workers, retail companies, agriculture industries, even healthcare workers are getting pay cuts. It feels like the only people who are “safe” are individuals in the computer science industry, Zoom developers, or like, every company’s IT guy. Yeah, yeah maybe I chose the wrong career path in school…but then again, not all of us can be nerds right? RIGHT?!
These are trying times, there’s no denying that. So please, I urge you, be calm, and show compassion, because things are very difficult for most people right now. And if you are someone who has lost their job and is worried about how you’ll maintain your kids, follow through with payments, or just keep food on the table, please take comfort in the fact that you are not alone and you do not have to suffer by yourself.
Take the Certified Badass Event Planner approach to these unprecedented times:
- Get Ahead: Don’t concentrate and what you can’t control and focus on what you can control.
- Get Creative: There’s never just one option. Think about other ways you can get things done.
- Negotiate: Talk to your landlords / anyone you owe and explain your situation.
- Breathe: Don’t be a grouch and keep in touch with friends and family for emotional support. Listen to their problems but understand that your wellbeing is just as important.
- Whatever you do DO NOT GIVE UP: If today seems hard, accept it and try again tomorrow. “Learn how to Rest; Not Quit”. That’s right, Banksy said it best.
And if none of my awesome points help then maybe you should just give up. I’m kidding — NEVER do that. But consider the fact that each day that goes by is progress. All though it seems slow at times, each day is one step closer to this pandemic being over and recovery.
I hope this helps someone today. And I also hope someone helps me today. So if anyone is looking for a quirky, semi-sarcastic, but incredibly hard working individual…I’m your gal! To collaborate or create please reach out: [email protected]